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Detailed record for Harley 2728

Author Marcus Annaeus Lucanus
Title Pharsalia, Books 1-10, with glosses
Origin Germany, S. W. (Freising)
Date 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 11th century
Language Latin
Script Caroline minuscule
Scribe Copied by several scribes (see Hoffmann 1986)
Decoration Large initials with interlace and foliate decoration in red, possibily the preparation ground for oxidised silver (ff. 15, 28v, 43, 58, 73, 89, 105, 121, 142). Titles in display capitals in red, possibly the preparation ground for oxidised silver. Colophon in display script (f. 152). Verse initials in red, possibly the preparation ground for oxidised silver (ff. 43-89, 103v-132v, 135-138v, 140-150v), occasionally with silver highlights (ff. 1-42v). Marginal diagrams (ff. 26, 79, 128v, 131)
Dimensions in mm 230 x 170 (170 x 80)
Official foliation ff. 152 (ff. 1 and 3 are 11th-century additions; + 4 unfoliated modern paper flyleaves at the beginning and 5 at the end).
Collation Gatherings mostly of 8.
Form Parchment codex
Binding BM/BL in-house. Rebound in 1973. Covers of the previous 'Harleian' binding of gilt-tooled red morocco attributable to Christopher Chapman pasted inside modern boards.
Provenance Sketch of unfinished initial 'B' in dry-point on leaf added in the 11th century (f. 1v).
Addition of ink background to interlaced initials (ff. 28v, 43, 58, 73).
? Nicholas of Cues (b. 1401, d. 1464), bishop of St. Brixen in Tyrol in 1450, cardinal in 1449, founder of the hospital of St Nicholas at Cues on the Mosel: left his entire library to the hospital in his last will dated 6 August 1464: possibly owned according to Hunfrey Wanley note 'Olim peculium Nicolai Cardinalis Cusani' (see Wright and Wright 1966; Wright 1972; Hallauer 1986).
? The Hospital of St Nicholas, Cues, on the Moselle: possibly owned (see Wright 1972; Hallauer 1986).
Nathaniel Noel (fl. 1681, d. c. 1753), bookseller, employed by Edward Harley for buying books and manuscripts chiefly on the Continent, where his agent was George Suttie: sold to Edward Harley on 18 January 1723/4 together with other manuscripts formerly in the hospital library (see Wright and Wright 1966).
The Harley Collection, formed by Robert Harley (b. 1661, d. 1724), 1st earl of Oxford and Mortimer, politician, and Edward Harley (b. 1689, d. 1741), 2nd earl of Oxford and Mortimer, book collector and patron of the arts, inscribed as usual by their librarian, Humfrey Wanley, ‘18 die Januarij, A.D. 1723/4’ (f. 1).
Edward Harley bequeathed the library to his widow, Henrietta Cavendish, née Holles (b. 1694, d. 1755) during her lifetime and thereafter to their daughter, Margaret Cavendish Bentinck (b. 1715, d. 1785), duchess of Portland; the manuscripts were sold by the Countess and the Duchess in 1753 to the nation for £10,000 (a fraction of their contemporary value) under the Act of Parliament that also established the British Museum; the Harley manuscripts form one of the foundation collections of the British Library.
Select bibliography A Catalogue of the Harleian Manuscripts in the British Museum, 4 vols (London: Eyre and Strahan, 1808-12), II (1808), no. 2728.

Berthold L. Ullman, 'Manuscripts of Nicholas of Cues', Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, 13 (1938), 194-97 (p. 195); reprinted in Studies in the Italian Renaissance, Storia e letteratura, 51 (Rome: Edizioni di Storia e letteratura, 1955), pp. 357-63 (p. 362).

Herbert Thoma, ‘Altdeutsches aus Londer Hss’, Beiträge zur Geschichte der deutscher Sprache und Literatur, 73 (1951), 197-271 (pp. 253-54).

'Kritisches Verzeichnis der Londoner Handschriften aus dem Besitz des Nikolaus von Kues', Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus-Gesellschaft, 3 (1963), 16-100 (pp. 62-63).

The Diary of Humfrey Wanley 1715-1726, ed. by Cyril Ernest Wright and Ruth C. Wright, 2 vols (London: Bibliographical Society, 1966), II: 1723-1726, p. 238 no. 71.

Cyril Ernest Wright, Fontes Harleiani: A Study of the Sources of the Harleian Collection of Manuscripts in the British Museum (London: British Museum, 1972), pp. 120, 121, 254, 415.

Birger Munk Olsen, L’Étude des auteurs classiques latins aux XIe et XIIe siècles, 3 vols (Paris: Centre national de la recherche scientifique, 1982-1989), II (1985), p. 45, Lucan. C. 76.

Hermann J. Hallauer, 'Habent sua fata libelli: Von der Mosel zur Themse: Handschriften des St. Nikolaus-Hospitals in der Bibliotheca Harleiana', Mitteilungen und Forschungsbeiträge der Cusanus-Gesellshaft 17 (1986), 21-56 (pp. 36 n. 112, 42).

Hartmut Hoffmann, Buchkunst und Königtum im ottonischen und frühsalischen Reich, 2 vols, Schriften der Monumenta Germaniae Historica, 30 (Stuttgart: Hiersemann, 1986) I, p. 417; II, figs 244-45.

Sigrid Krämer and Michael Bernhard, Handscriftenerbe des deutschen Mittelalters, Mittelalterliche Bibliothekskataloge Deutschlands und der Schweiz, ed. by Bernard Bischoff, Supplement 1, 3 vols (Munich: Beck, 1989-1990), I: Aachen-Kochel, p. 159.

Martin Kauffmann, An Ottonian Sacramentary in Oxford', Belief and culture in the Middle Ages: studies presented to Henry Mayr-Harting, ed. by Richard Gameson and Henrietta Leyser (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), 169-86, (p. 174 n. 33).

Rolf Bergmann and Stefanie Stricker, Katalog der althochdeutschen und altsächsischen Glossenhandschriften, 6 vols (Berlin: Walter De Gruyter, 2005), II, pp. 883-84 no. 416 [with further bibliography].

The Oxford History of Classical Reception in English literature, ed. by Rita Copeland. 5 vols (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012- ), I, 800-1558 (2016), p. 36.

* * *
Illuminated initial

f. 43
Illuminated initial

f. 128v

f. 131

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